POM/U4 Topic 9 Personal Selling as a Career
Personal selling happens when companies and business firms send out their salesmen to use the sale force and sell the products and services by meeting the consumer face – to – face. Here, the producers promote their products, the attitude of the product, appearance and specialist product knowledge with the help of their agents. They aim to inform and encourage the customer to buy, or at least trial the product.
For example, salesmen go to different societies to sell the products. Another example is found in department stores on the perfume and cosmetic counters. A customer can get advice on how to apply the product and can try different products. Products with relatively high prices, or with complex features, are often sold using personal selling. Great examples include cars, office equipment (e.g. photocopiers) and many products that are sold by businesses to other industrial customers.
Advantages of Personal Selling
- It is a two-way communication. So the selling agent can get instant feedback from the prospective buyer. If it is not according to plan he can even adjust his approach accordingly.
- Since it is an interactive form of selling, it helps build trust with the customer. When you are selling high-value products like cars, it is important that the customer trusts not only the product but the seller also. This is possible in personal selling.
- It also is a more persuasive form of marketing. Since the customer is face to face with the salesperson it is not easy to dismiss them. The customer at least makes an effort to listen.
- Finally, direct selling helps reach the audience that we cannot reach in any other form. There are sometimes customers that cannot be reached by any other method.
Disadvantages of Personal Selling
- It is a relatively expensive method of selling. High capital costs are required.
- Also, it is an extremely labour intensive method. A large sales force is required to carry out personal selling successfully.
- The training of the salesperson is also a very time consuming and costly.
- And the method can only reach a limited number of people. Unlike TV or Radio ads it does not cover s huge demographic.